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Sunday 3rd August 2014, 15:00 - Round:23
|Jarrod Sammut 2, Paul Sykes,||T||Joe Wardle, Eorl Crabtree, Shaun Lunt, Craig Kopczak, Kruise Leeming, Jermaine McGillvary, Jake Connor,|
Jarrod Sammut 3,
Danny Brough 4,
Attendance: 4,317 Official: J Child Venue: The Rapid Solicitors Stadium
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats’ play-off hopes were dealt a body blow after they crashed to a first home defeat under coach James Webster.
The Wildcats never recovered from a dismal first half after which they trailed a rampant Huddersfield Giants 32-0 and, although they produced a spirited revival, a 36-18 First Utility Super League defeat leaves them four points behind eighth-placed Widnes Vikings with four games left of the regular season.
Huddersfield, with former England hooker Shaun Lunt in impressive form on his return from a two-month injury lay-off, were dominant from the start despite the late withdrawal of winger Jodie Broughton and prop Antonio Kaufusi.
Webster was also forced to make a late change, switching Jarrod Sammut from stand-off to full-back in the absence of the injured Richard Mathers, and the Australian experienced mixed fortunes in his new role.
He conceded a penalty from the kick-off by putting the ball straight into touch and the visitors scored inside their first set, with half-backs Luke Robinson and Danny Brough working the ball out wide for centre Joe Wardle to touch down for the first of their six tries before the break.
Brough disputed referee James Child's decision to disallow his conversion, after the two touch judges came to different conclusions over the accuracy of the kick, but it hardly mattered as Huddersfield went on to win at a canter.
Lunt made his first impact on nine minutes when his short pass got prop Eorl Crabtree charging over for the Giants' second try and it was all Huddersfield as winger Jermaine McGillvary was denied by Paul Sykes' last-ditch tackle and front rower Anthony Mullally was held up over the line.
There was no respite for the Wildcats when Mullally went off as a barnstorming run from his replacement Craig Kopczak created the position for Lunt to force his way over from dummy half before taking Lunt's pass to cross himself.
Lunt went off for a well-earned breather on 28 minutes and his replacement, teenager Kruise Leeming, was quickly into the action, taking Robinson's pass to score his first try of the season after Sammut had dropped Brough's high kick.
Wakefield spent virtually the whole of the first 40 minutes inside their own half and, on a rare foray near the visitors' line, spilled ball and watched McGillvary sprint 95 metres for an opportunist 18th try of the season.
Leading 32-0 at the break, it was always going to be difficult for the Giants to maintain their sparkling form and the Wildcats, boosted by the arrival from the bench of forwards Ali Lauitiiti and Taulima Tautai, enjoyed a good deal more possession to enable them to redeem themselves.
Sammut scored one try four minutes into the second half, which he converted, looked to have added another only to be pulled back for a forward pass and was then held up over the line.
The Wildcats' pressure eventually told when hooker Paul McShane got stand-off Sykes through a yawning gap in the Huddersfield defence and Sammut kicked his second goal.
It was a far more even contest in the second half, with the Giants scoring their only other try through teenager Jake Connor, who switched from the wing to full-back in the absence of Scott Grix for the second half.
The Wildcats were well beaten but they had the final say when second rower Danny Kirmond got out an offload that enabled Sammut to score his second try and he also kicked his third goal.
TA: Try assists
MT: Marker tackles
MI: Missed tackles
TB: Tackle busts
AT: Attacking kicks
AG: Av gain
CB: Clean break
DR: Run from dummy half
FT: Forty twenty
MG: Missed goals